The Truth about Managing People / Edition 2

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Overview

“The premiere writer of management textbooks has sifted through the research to extract the truths every manager should know. This book is an antidote for the unsupported opinions handed out in many popular management books.”

Kenneth W. Thomas, Professor of Management, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, author of Intrinsic Motivation at Work

“A prolific scholar and writer, Robbins cuts through the research and theory to deliver immediately useful and essential insights for the effective management of people.”

Eric G. Stephan, Professor Organizational Leadership & Strategy, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University

You can succeed brilliantly as a leader and overcome the “killer” problems faced by every manager!

• The truth about building winning teams and designing high-productivity jobs

• The truth about why “happy” employees aren’t always more productive

• The (surprising) truth about what behaviors you really want to reward

This book reveals 53 Proven Principles for handling virtually every management challenge

The Truth About Managing People offers real solutions for the make-or-break problems faced by every manager. You'll discover: how to overcome the true obstacles to teamwork; why too much communication can be as dangerous as too little; how to improve your hiring and employee evaluations; how to heal "layoff survivor sickness"; even how to learn charisma. This isn't someone's opinion; it's a definitive, evidence-based guide to effective management: a set of bedrock principles you can rely on throughout your entire management career.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132346030
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Series: Truth About Business Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen P. Robbins (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is professor emeritus of management at San Diego State University and the world’s best-selling textbook author in the areas of both management and organizational behavior. His books are used at more than a thousand U.S. colleges and universities and have been translated into 19 languages.

In Dr. Robbins’ “other life,” he participates in masters’ track competitions. Since turning 50 in 1993, he has set numerous indoor and outdoor age-group world sprint records. He has won more than a dozen indoor and outdoor U.S. championships at 60m, 100m, 200m, and 400m, and won eleven gold medals at World Masters Track Championships. In 2005, Dr. Robbins was elected into the USA Masters’ Track & Field Hall of Fame.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

Managers are bombarded with advice from consultants, professors, business journalists, and assorted management "gurus" on how to manage their employees. A lot of this advice is well thought-out and valuable. Much of it, however, is a gross generalization, ambiguous, inconsistent, or superficial. Some of it is even just downright wrong. Regardless of the quality, there doesn't seem to be a slowdown in the outpouring of this advice. Quite to the contrary. Books on business and management have replaced sex, self-help, and weight loss as topics on many nonfiction best-sellers lists.

I've been teaching and writing about managing people at work for more than 35 years. As part of my writing efforts, I have read upward of 25,000 research studies on human behavior. While my practitioner friends are often quick to criticize research and theory-testing, this research has provided innumerable insights into human behavior. Unfortunately, to date there has been no short, concise summary of behavioral research that cuts through the jargon to give managers the truth about what works and doesn't work when it comes to managing people at work. Well, this is no longer true. This book has been written to fill that void.

I've organized this book around key human-behavior-related problem areas that managers face: hiring, motivation, leadership, communication, team building, managing conflicts, designing jobs, performance evaluations, and coping with change. Within each problem area, I've identified a select set of topics that are relevant to managers and where there is substantial research evidence to draw upon. In addition, I've included suggestions to help you apply this information to improve your managerial effectiveness. And at the back of the book, I've listed references upon which the chapters are based.

Who was this book written for? Practicing managers and those aspiring to a management position—from CEOs to supervisor wannabes. I wrote it because I believe you shouldn't have to read through detailed textbooks in human resources or organizational behavior to learn the truth about managing people at work. Nor should you have to attend an executive development course at a prestigious university to get the straight facts. What you get from this book, of course, will depend on your current knowledge about organizational behavior. Recent MBAs, for instance, will find this book to be a concise summary of the evidence they spent many months studying. They won't see elaborated theories or names of major researchers, but they will find accurate translations of research findings. For individuals who haven't kept current with research in organizational behavior or for those with little formal academic training, this book should provide a wealth of new insights into managing people at work.

Each of the 53 topics in this book is given its own short chapter. And each chapter is essentially independent from the others. You can read them in any order you desire. Best of all, you needn't tackle this book in one sitting. It's been designed for multiple "quick reads." Read a few chapters, put it down, and then pick it up again at a later date. No continuous story line has to be maintained.

Let me conclude this preface by stating the obvious: A book is a team project. While there is only one name on the cover, a number of people contributed to getting this book in your hands. That team included Tim Moore, Jennifer Simon, Lori Lyons, Karen Gill, San Dee Phillips, and Gloria Schurick.

—Stephen P. Robbins

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Part I The Truth About Hiring

Truth 1 Forget traits; it’s behavior that counts 1

Truth 2 Realistic job previews: what you see is what you get 5

Truth 3 Tips for improving employee interviews 9

Truth 4 Brains matter; or when in doubt, hire smart people 13

Truth 5 Don’t count too much on reference checks 17

Truth 6 When in doubt, hire conscientious people! 21

Truth 7 Hire people who fit your culture: my “good employee” is your stinker! 25

Truth 8 Manage the socialization of new employees 29

Part II The Truth About Motivation

Truth 9 Why many workers aren’t motivated at work today 33

Truth 10 Happy workers aren’t necessarily productive workers! 37

Truth 11 Telling employees to do their best isn’t likely to achieve their best 41

Truth 12 Not everyone wants to participate in setting their goals 45

Truth 13 Professional workers go for the flow 49

Truth 14 When giving feedback: criticize behaviors, not people 53

Truth 15 You get what you reward 57

Truth 16 It’s all relative! 61

Truth 17 Ways to motivate low-skill, low-pay employees 65

Truth 18 There’s more to high employee performance than just motivation 69

Part III The Truth About Leadership

Truth 19 The essence of leadership is trust 73

Truth 20 Experience counts! Wrong! 77

Truth 21 Most people THINK they know what good leaders look like 81

Truth 22 Effective leaders know how to frame issues 85

Truth 23 You get what you expect 89

Truth 24 Charisma can be learned 93

Truth 25 Make others dependent on you 97

Truth 26 Adjust your leadership style for cultural differences, or when in Rome 101

Truth 27 When leadership ISN’T important 105

Part IV The Truth About Communication

Truth 28 Hearing isn’t listening 109

Truth 29 Choose the right communication channel 113

Truth 30 Listen to the grapevine 117

Truth 31 Men and women do communicate differently 121

Truth 32 What you do overpowers what you say 125

Part V The Truth About Building Teams

Truth 33 What we know that makes teams work 129

Truth 34 2 + 2 doesn’t necessarily equal 4 133

Truth 35 One bad apple spoils the barrel 137

Truth 36 We’re not all equal: status matters! 141

Truth 37 Not everyone is team material 145

Part VI The Truth About Managing Conflicts

Truth 38 The case FOR conflict 149

Truth 39 Beware of groupthink 153

Truth 40 How to reduce work-life conflicts 157

Truth 41 Negotiating isn’t about winning and losing 161

Part VII The Truth About Designing Jobs

Truth 42 Not everyone wants a challenging job 165

Truth 43 Four Job-design actions that will make employees more productive 169

Part VIII The Truth About Performance Evaluation

Truth 44 Annual reviews: the best surprise is no surprise! 173

Truth 45 Don’t blame me! The role of self-serving bias 177

Truth 46 The case for 360-degree feedback appraisals: more IS better! 181

Part IX The Truth About Coping with Change

Truth 47 Most people resist any change that doesn’t jingle in their pockets! 185

Truth 48 You CAN teach an old dog new tricks 189

Truth 49 Use participation to reduce resistance to change 193

Part X Some Final Thoughts About Managing Behavior

Truth 50 First impressions do count! 197

Truth 51 People aren’t completely rational: don’t ignore emotions! 201

Truth 52 Employee turnover can be a good thing 205

Truth 53 Beware of the quick fix 209

References 213

About the Author 231

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Preface

Preface

Managers are bombarded with advice from consultants, professors, business journalists, and assorted management "gurus" on how to manage their employees. A lot of this advice is well thought-out and valuable. Much of it, however, is a gross generalization, ambiguous, inconsistent, or superficial. Some of it is even just downright wrong. Regardless of the quality, there doesn't seem to be a slowdown in the outpouring of this advice. Quite to the contrary. Books on business and management have replaced sex, self-help, and weight loss as topics on many nonfiction best-sellers lists.

I've been teaching and writing about managing people at work for more than 35 years. As part of my writing efforts, I have read upward of 25,000 research studies on human behavior. While my practitioner friends are often quick to criticize research and theory-testing, this research has provided innumerable insights into human behavior. Unfortunately, to date there has been no short, concise summary of behavioral research that cuts through the jargon to give managers the truth about what works and doesn't work when it comes to managing people at work. Well, this is no longer true. This book has been written to fill that void.

I've organized this book around key human-behavior-related problem areas that managers face: hiring, motivation, leadership, communication, team building, managing conflicts, designing jobs, performance evaluations, and coping with change. Within each problem area, I've identified a select set of topics that are relevant to managers and where there is substantial research evidence to draw upon. In addition, I'veincluded suggestions to help you apply this information to improve your managerial effectiveness. And at the back of the book, I've listed references upon which the chapters are based.

Who was this book written for? Practicing managers and those aspiring to a management position—from CEOs to supervisor wannabes. I wrote it because I believe you shouldn't have to read through detailed textbooks in human resources or organizational behavior to learn the truth about managing people at work. Nor should you have to attend an executive development course at a prestigious university to get the straight facts. What you get from this book, of course, will depend on your current knowledge about organizational behavior. Recent MBAs, for instance, will find this book to be a concise summary of the evidence they spent many months studying. They won't see elaborated theories or names of major researchers, but they will find accurate translations of research findings. For individuals who haven't kept current with research in organizational behavior or for those with little formal academic training, this book should provide a wealth of new insights into managing people at work.

Each of the 53 topics in this book is given its own short chapter. And each chapter is essentially independent from the others. You can read them in any order you desire. Best of all, you needn't tackle this book in one sitting. It's been designed for multiple "quick reads." Read a few chapters, put it down, and then pick it up again at a later date. No continuous story line has to be maintained.

Let me conclude this preface by stating the obvious: A book is a team project. While there is only one name on the cover, a number of people contributed to getting this book in your hands. That team included Tim Moore, Jennifer Simon, Lori Lyons, Karen Gill, San Dee Phillips, and Gloria Schurick.

—Stephen P. Robbins


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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